Andrew Martin

Journalist and novelist Andrew Martin is the author of the 'Jim Stringer' series of novels based around railways. He has written for the Independent on Sunday, the Evening Standard, the Sunday Times and the New Statesman among others.

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Bonfire Night is our annual celebration of folk justice and this year's Fawkes is Lance Armstrong

In an increasing number of communities, Guy Fawkes has been sidelined in favour of a more topical victim - but where to locate a solid liberal perspective in this anarchy?

The Rolling Stones in the early days

Andrew Martin: Against the odds, the Rolling Stones have turned into role models

Those of us born in the year and month of the Rolling Stones' first gig (July 1962) tend to feel we somehow exist in a spin-off from their energy field. But surely even those not so closely tied in to their odyssey would welcome the almost-official news that they will be playing gigs in London and New York in November (this on top of rumours of a new album).

Tranquillity: St Giles, Imber, Wiltshire, a place of worship since the 13th century

Andrew Martin: I have a confession to make - I go to church

Our writer applauds a new report that says religion makes people happier, denies that religion is irrational, and wonders why his friends are so resistant to it

Taking the waters: Bottle-huggers Natalie Portman and Robert Pattinson

Andrew Martin: A nice cup of tea beats bottled water every time

The unnecessary accessory we began to eschew is trickling back into favour. Our writer tries to understand the appeal of fashionable plastic

Those were the days: The Seventies used to hum with the sound of men and their power tools

Andrew Martin: Real men carry power tools - or they used to

Falling house prices and the loss of a make-do-and-mend attitude have done for DIY. But our writer misses the sound of Sunday-morning sawing

Andrew Martin: We're so afraid of dying, we don't dare live

Our writer was a swot, but even his boyhood was reckless

Andrew Martin: I'd let the French run our trains

Their approach to railways is at once hard-headed and romantic
Mars has shrunk its bars, but what will it do with the Duo?

Giant snacks – meant for two, eaten by one

Andrew Martin chooses the smaller bar – and no sharing

Andrew Martin: You're being mean-spirited over term time holidays, Mr Gove

It was mesmerising when a boy in my class was given time off 'to help with the harvest'

Andrew Martin: Can I have my Sherlock back, please?

Holmes is not, unlike Ritchie's man, active and acrobatic; he is reflective and clever

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Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story